TRIALS of MANA - Interviews
AL: When updating the classic to the current version, would you say it’s difficult to put yourself in the mindset of what RPGs were like 25 years ago while trying to appeal to a new generation of players? Or does it all come naturally?
Shinichi Tatsuke: The original game’s world and story were solid, so it wasn’t that difficult. We planned things by imagining how it would have been as a modern-day game. We thought about things that were depicted in a certain way due to the technology that was available back then, but that could be depicted in this other way using modern technology. We also thought about additional features, which remakes often have.
AL: Trials of Mana almost comes off as a completely new game when you compare it to its Super Famicom version. What steps did you take during development to have it retain that classic RPG appeal, but modernize it enough to stand on its own in this new console generation?
ST: We started by clearly defining what we would and would not change: we would change the graphics as well as the battle and growth systems, but we would not change the original world and characters. For example, looking at the battles, the original action battle was enjoyable, but in bringing the action battle system to the remake in 3D, I wanted to add even more, with actions like evasion, aerial attacks, and combo attacks.
Additionally, we incorporated features designed to expand upon the strengths of the original as much as possible. The biggest draw of the original was its story, which would play out differently depending on the combination of characters you chose. We wanted to dig deeper into that feature, so we added more dialogue between party members during battle and travel.
How did the response to the Secret of Mana remake influence Trials of Mana?
Oyamada: The reaction we got from fans all around the world saying that they had been looking forward to the Mana series and voicing their anticipation for the original version of Trials of Mana, which was never released in the West, was greater than we had anticipated. Therefore, we decided to vastly modernize the game’s system, starting with its visuals in addition to system-related elements like battle mechanics.
Which party would you personally recommend to someone entirely new to the series and why?
Tatsuke: I would recommend Duran, Angela, and Charlotte. Duran excels in attack and defense, so he’s easy to use even for beginners. Angela can use magic attacks, while Charlotte can use recovery magic, so all together they would make a very well-balanced party.
Additionally, when you put Duran and Angela together, you’ll be able to see dialogue that’s specific to them, which is another point that makes me want to recommend them.
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